Mix It Up: John Glacier
John Glacier is an artist who is as enigmatic as she is talented. Nevertheless, after years of being a well-kept industry secret, it was her recently released album, SHILOH, that cemented her name as one of East London’s most exciting musical minds. We asked the artist to select a curation of tracks that have shaped both herself and her sound over the years. Below, she tells us more about her playlist.
“This is a playlist to celebrate some of my favourite artists in modern Black history. I feel the title, Presence In Absence, best summarises the tracklist provided. When celebrating the month of “Black History” we are often taught “White History”, so there is a sense of erasure/deletion, and a vacuum in our learnings. Black History Month, to me, is a time of celebration - as we’re still here. Still present. One of the main components of it is oral history and sonics - due to presence in absence. I've found that there is strength and beauty within that. One thing that has always survived is our sonics and our expressive ways of narration; the means of finding ways of communication and community.
I’ve also chosen Presence in Absence as a title as, when we’re all gone, these are tracks that I believe will be honoured in future music history studies. As it’s a BHM playlist, it’s mainly a soundtrack of some of my favourite songs and artists that complemented my upbringing and that are ingrained in my own history.”
We Nah Listen by Mavado
I’ve chosen this song as it’s triumphant. It’s a track that reflects my values, one that reminds me everything will work out. It’s also a friendly reminder that it’s important to shut out the noise and listen to your gut.
Pakurumo by Wiz Kid
I love this song as it brings me back to secondary school and playing music songs off our phones during break time. Making the most of life with nothing but good music and sweets whilst sipping on a fizzy drink. I also love this song because it’s timeless - it still slaps.
Picante by Busy Signal
I chose this song as it’s a fun song to get ready to. This is another one that brings me back to my younger days as a Caribbean Brit, where I’d scan a website called “muzik media” which was like a hub for Jamaicans to keep up with the latest tracks, no matter where you were in the world.
You Know Rimz by Rimzee
I chose this song as it’s one of my favourite Rimzee tracks. It reminds me of my favourite era of London rap music.
Premier Gauo by Magic System
I chose this song as it’s one of my favourite songs. It’s another song that brings me back to secondary school where we’d all share songs from our cultural backgrounds - I went to a school in Hackney, so one of the richest things of that experience was being introduced to the cultures of others.
Wine Slow by Gyptian
I chose this song because it’s simply beautiful. It reminds me of Jamaica, of true beauty and self-expression.
Confessions by Destiny’s Child feat. Missy Elliott
I’ve chosen this song as I feel it’s a highly underrated Destiny’s Child/ Missy Elliot track. I feel this song is special as it shares a narrative in music that we rarely hear, and I feel that the songwriting on this song is overlooked.
Cookie Jar by Gym Class Heroes
I love this song as it delves into the honesty of the subject, and I love a bit of honest music. It’s a fun track to get lost in and turn up to. The dreamy vocals work beautifully on this track and the beat reminds me of being in space.
Give Me A Try by Sizzla
I chose this song as it’s beautifully raw. This is a track that reminds me of when I used to run a Caribbean food shop - I’d have this song on repeat and no one could tell me anything as the track was beautiful. And if you wanted to speak to the manager? It was me - I was the manager! (Not that anyone complained.)
Shy Guy by Diana King
I chose this song as I feel it’s a song that most women can relate to; it’s an OG pretty girl track. The vocals, instrumental and writing on this one are beautiful. It’s a track that’s about being tired of what people think you’d be interested in… It’s a track that goes out to all the underrepresented “shy guys” and all the misunderstood hot girls.
Touch A Button by Vybz Kartel
It wouldn’t be a Glacier playlist if Vybz Kartel wasn’t on it. This song reminds me of my outlook on life. It also brings me back to the Caribbean food shop and pre-gentrification. Our shop and that whole street was a tight-knit Jamaican community, where everyone would hang out and put money back into the community. Whether that was going to Veronica’s salon to get your hair done for school or the latest hairstyle for the clubs, coming to ours for food, going to Oliver’s for your favourite Caribbean snacks, making a stop at the Saxon Sounds record shop or Mikey’s for a trim…. The list honestly goes on forever.
You Make Me Wanna by Jadakiss feat. Mariah Carey
I chose this song as Jadakiss is one of my favourite rappers, and because it’s another pretty girl track. It’s a track that reminds me of the future. I love this song as it’s a song that delves into how some perceive people - he’s one of the best “hood” rappers but within that experience he’s a human with human emotions, like we all are. It’s a love song, and it’s one of my favourite songs on the subject of love.
Change Clothes by Jay-Z
The reason I chose this? Serving rap high class elegance. The way JAY-Z glides across this track is flawless, along with Pharrell's euphoric vocals - a beautiful blend of amazing sonics. This song reminds me of growing up and how the greats of that era have aged beautifully.
Drank In My Cup by Kirko Bangs
This is a track that is disturbingly underrated. It was released about a decade ago but is literally the sound that most artists are only now going for. “Want a man, don’t need a man,” is my favourite line as he gets it - feminist track fi di ppl dem. I could talk forever about why I love this song but the list is never ending - imma sum it up by saying that the overall track is impeccable.
Rain On Me by Ashanti
This track is special. One of the greatest songs of all time, in my opinion. From the production to the vocals, writing, even right down to the spacing between the verses, harmonics, hooks and waves in the beat. I love songs that display human emotion in its rawest form - where the artist refrains from holding back. I chose this song as I believe it to be one of the greats - a heavily underrated track and artist. Ashanti is an artist that deserves all her flowers. Strangely, this is a song that brings me joy - it brings me back to being a child, where I’d sing along to scenarios I knew nothing about. Not to mention the fact that it’s one of my favourite tracks.
You can also listen to this playlist on Spotify, just search for Browns Fashion to discover more music to enjoy.
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